C-MAX Racing's Riddle and Dumoulin Win KONI Challenge at Watkins Glen WATKINS GLEN, NY -- David Riddle and Jean-Francois Dumoulin proved that strategy is just as important as speed during Saturday's KONI Challenge race at Watkins Glen,...
C-MAX Racing's Riddle and Dumoulin Win KONI Challenge at Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN, NY -- David Riddle and Jean-Francois Dumoulin proved that strategy is just as important as speed during Saturday's KONI Challenge race at Watkins Glen, piloting the No. 26 Fiorano Racing / C-MAX / Denon Porsche 997 to the overall and Grand Sport win.
It is the first career victory for C-MAX Racing, who formed last year in order to campaign the KONI Challenge Series in 2007. Headed by team owner Riddle and managed by Kris Wilson, the team has been a consistent top finisher this season with the help of Fiorano Racing owner and crew chief Gianni Panico. In just eight races, C-MAX has earned six top-ten finishes, including a third for Riddle and Wilson at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
C-MAX normally races just one Porsche 997, but they decided to enter two at Watkins Glen, bringing veteran driver Dumoulin on board for the three-hour race.
Qualifying was cut short by a black flag before Dumoulin and Riddle could post their fast laps, resulting in a starting position of tenth for Dumoulin in the No. 25 C-MAX Porsche, and 20th for Riddle in the No. 26.
Nevertheless, both drivers started their charge for the front when the green flag waved. Dumoulin pitted early to give the No. 25 car to Wilson, and later took over from Riddle in the No. 26 Porsche.
The two cars had very different pit strategies, and the team took the chance that one of them would result in a podium. If the final hour of the race stayed green, Wilson's late splash of fuel would put him in an advantageous position. If there were multiple cautions, however, Dumoulin would be able to stay out on track with hopes of maintaining a top spot.
Wilson's strategy seemed to be working, and he was in the lead when he pitted for fuel with an hour left in the race. The cautions that followed, though, fell in favor of Dumoulin in the No. 26 car.
"Jean-Francois didn't have enough gas to get to the end unless there were two more yellows," said Riddle. "We lucked out and got those two yellows. J-F couldn't have done another lap. We gambled and it worked out great."
The win is Riddle's first KONI Challenge victory. "It's been a good first year for the team," he said. "The key is Kris' leadership and Gianni's skill."
Wilson and Dumoulin eventually finished ninth in the No. 25 C-MAX Porsche.